O'Brien set to saddle strong squad in rearranged Futurity

Mogul and Innisfree on course for Newcastle on Friday.

  • Sunday 27 October
  • News
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Aidan O’Brien expects to saddle a strong team in the rescheduled Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle on Friday.

The Ballydoyle handler has trained nine previous winners of the final Group One of the British Flat season – leaving him just one short of the record set by the late Sir Henry Cecil.

He was responsible for five of the six declared runners for this year’s renewal, but a waterlogged track at Doncaster forced the cancellation of the card, and the race will now be run during a twilight fixture at Gosforth Park.

Asked whether he intends to run the same five horses in what will be the first Group One race to take place on an all-weather surface in Britain, O’Brien told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday programme: “That’s what we’re thinking at the moment.

“I think it’ll be fine. Obviously Newcastle is a very good track and if the horses are well we’ll look forward to running them there.”

The O’Brien quintet originally declared was headed Mogul, who was set to go off a red-hot favourite following an impressive Group Two triumph at Leopardstown last month.

He was joined by the well-regarded Innisfree – a winner at the Galway Festival before providing his trainer with a remarkable 19th success in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh – as well as Iberia, Louisiana and Royal County Down.

The only horse declared to take on the Ballydoyle battalion was the Andrew Balding-trained Kameko, but that could now change as although the original entries will stand, it has also been reopened for new contenders.

The one-mile contest will have a total prize fund of £200,000.

It promises to be a busy weekend for the O’Brien team, with another formidable squad being prepared for the two-day Breeders’ Cup meeting on Friday and Saturday.

Magical (Filly & Mare Turf), Anthony Van Dyck (Turf) and Circus Maximus (Mile) are among those being prepared for the trip across the Atlantic and O’Brien is pleased with their condition.

He added: “The horses will do their last canter on Monday and then they’ll probably travel on Monday afternoon.

“So far everything looks good.”

O'Brien set to saddle strong squad in rearranged Futurity
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